A rewrite of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If’:

If you evade your tax when all around you
Are paying theirs and saying you should too
If values like integrity confound you
But ruthlessness comes naturally to you
If you can live off other people’s labour
And add their output to your growing hoard
And still proclaim yourself the wealth creator
That massive bonus is your just reward

If you can wear a smile and feign compassion
While telling men and women they are sacked
If you can pay the rest a meagre ration
That’s just enough to keep them coming back
If you can welcome technical invention
So you can push more workers out the door
If ev’ry time you have the same intention:
Pay fewer people less to churn out more

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And strive to make still more without delay
If you can rise from not so low beginnings
And step on other people on the way
If you can treat your workers and your clients
With equal measures of detached disdain
If you can make them feel like lambs not lions
Resent each other not seek common gain

If you can buy an MP or a question
Or hire a lobby firm to do the deed
If you will pay the price of an election
Ensure the ‘business’ candidates succeed
If you can fill the unforgiving boardroom
With men whose moral compass points to none
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it
And – more – you’ll be a capitalist, my son!


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